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No. 8 Montana State sets sights on Idaho State

Montana State Defense
Posted at 9:26 AM, Oct 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-23 11:26:43-04

BOZEMAN — Montana State continues to climb in the FCS rankings, now sitting at No. 8 after taking down Weber State this past Friday making that six straight wins while also improving to 3-0 in the Big Sky.

This Saturday the Bobcats will look to keep that perfect conference record alive as they host Idaho State before heading before their bye week.

“Big win for us Friday night," MSU head football coach Brent Vigen said during Monday's press conference. "Weber State has been the standard the last several years in this conference, and while it wasn’t perfect by any means on Friday night, our guys trusted each other and found a way to close it out in the end.”

Productivity on offense for the Bobcats was the root of the problem Friday night.

They were just one of 14 on third downs and only were able to put up 222 yards of total offense. That’s nearly half of what the Bobcats normally average per game, which Vigen says won’t cut it against Idaho State.

“They’re dangerous on both sides," Vigen said. "I think both sides of the football you can see continued improvement. Now, they’ve played better at home than away, but we have to count on their best effort and that’s what we’re preparing for this week.”

The 1-5 Bengals have struggled in the turnover margin this fall sitting at minus-eight compared to Montana State’s plus-12.

They’ve only had one game this season where they won the turnover battle, which was their lone victory over ranked UC Davis.

“They’ve had their ups and downs this year, but I recognize those ups with the win against Davis and the close loss to Sacramento State more than anything, so our guys have to be ready to go," Vigen explained.

On offense, Idaho State is led by true freshman Hunter Hays, who took over as the starting quarterback in Week 4. He’s since thrown for 781 passing yards, five touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

“Hays has played I think pretty well for a young guy out of Cody, Wyoming," Vigen said. "He’s done alright, so they’ve instilled some confidence in him, and you can see he’s playing beyond I think his experience right now.”

As Montana State gears up for their second to last home game of the season, Bobcat Stadium is expected to be another sellout for their annual Pack the Place in Pink.

“We’re on a stage where a lot of people look to us, look to our program," Vigen said. "In particular, my mother is a breast cancer survivor, so that one is pretty near and dear to my heart.”

Kickoff at Bobcat Stadium is set for 1 p.m against the Bengals, which will be streamed on ESPN+.